Where I'll be sharing personal tips on art materials, showing some step-by-steps of how I create my works of art, and sharing news to my website! Today, however, is an introduction about me - the artist!
Hello ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to my website and first blog!
My name is Shannon Brouk and I’m a visual artist based in Kansas City, Missouri. I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2018 with a Bachelors Degree in Illustration. Upon graduating, I took various graphic design and marketing jobs to get started, but landed my full-time job with Too Corporation Americas within a year of graduating (otherwise known as the company that sells Copic markers). I worked for Copic remotely for almost 4 years, where I was their product education and creative marketing lead. Today, I work full-time for an architecture firm in downtown Kansas City, where I continue to use my creative problem solving skills in digital marketing for the firm.
All of the art you see here on my website I create in my free time; which, admittedly, can sometimes not be very often. Life gets extremely busy, especially when you've just bought a home and are about to get married! But, through all of life's craziness, one thing has remained a constant relief for me since my youth: creating art. I didn't know it as a kid when I was making my own comics or doodling in my school notebooks, but drawing has been a stress-reliever and way I can express my thoughts and emotions outside of words or written conversation, which is why I always try my best to make time to make art!
With that being said, I'm going to take a little trip down memory lane to paint a better picture as to how my creative career began and landed me where I am today.
Above: fashion sketches from my high school years. I really liked a blue palette!
How it all started
My love for art started when I was 6 or 7, creating small comics about a raccoon and his forest friends who were in a rock band. My mother has saved a lot of my art throughout the years, but these comics I’m sure were not worth saving (lol). After these comics, my interest in fashion began (around age 9-10) after I started looking through my mom’s Vogue magazines in the mail. I would find adds or spreads that I liked and would try and draw them with my markers and pencils. I was fascinated by all the crazy colors of the clothes and different modeling poses. This is when my love of shoes and accessory design also began, as well as the age-old tale of wanting to be tall and skinny (of which I was not, especially at age 10).
Above: more fashion sketches from my high school years. I started to practice my line work and add more colors to my palette.
I continued to draw inspiration from magazines throughout my middle school and early high school years. Vogue, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, and Harper’s Bazaar were my Google search engine, and this was when I began experimenting with nicer art materials. I bought my first Copic marker sets at 13 (the 6-piece grays and skin-tones sets) and the 150 pack of Prismacolor colored pencils. I felt so grown-up using nicer materials and paper for my fashion-based illustrations!
Above: the first colored pencil portrait I ever made, using myself as the subject.
Age 16: When I Knew I Wanted To Be a Professional Artist
My sophomore year of high school was a pivotal year for my art. I was taking intermediate drawing, and one of our projects was to draw a portrait of ourselves with colored pencils. This project was what caught the attention of my favorite art teacher, Mrs. Thompson, and she motivated me to look at art as more than a fun hobby and to seriously consider going to art school to become a professional artist. I’m so glad I listened to her and had a teacher that encouraged me to pursue an artistic career!
Above left: "Kenzie." Above right: "Puppy Portraits," both drawn with colored pencils and completed during my Senior year of high school, 2014.
Above left: "Native Beauty," painted with Holbein Gouache. Above right: "Pip & Estella," drawn with colored pencils and charcoal. Both completed during my Senior year of high school, 2014.
After that intermediate drawing class ended, I signed up for every other art class my high school had to offer. I also took AP Art as a senior and used that portfolio to get into SCAD, the art school of my dreams. Above are some of the works I submitted for my AP Art portfolio at the end of the year.
Above left: "Inked," 2018. Above Right, "Ultramarine," 2017. Both drawn during my time at SCAD.
Above pen drawings were created during my time at SCAD, 2015-2016.
My SCAD years: 2014-2018
My experience at SCAD was one I’ll never forget. I met amazing teachers (some of which I still talk to), got to meet Calvin Klein, made career connections I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to make, became SCAD’s Drawing Club President by the time I was a Senior, and my randomly assigned sophomore year roommate, Neha, became a life-long friend (the photo at the beginning of this blog was taken by her on my trip to visit her in India throughout September 2022).
All in all, the 6- to 7-year-old Shannon would have never guessed she’d go to art school, nonetheless make lifelong memories and friends there, while also making a career out of it.
Above marker drawings were created in 2021, during my employment with Copic markers.
Above gemstone drawings were created throughout 2020 and 2021, during my employment with Copic markers.
Post-SCAD: Into the Professional Workplace
Today, I work as a studio artist, making all the work that you see here on my website and Etsy store. I also continue to work freelance for Copic, designing and writing blog content for them (which you can check out here). Additionally, I work full-time at International Architects Atelier, as briefly mentioned at the beginning of this blog, working as their marketing lead. I love being able to combine my artistic background with marketing to help inform customers of products and services that I believe in!
Thank you all for reading my blog, visiting my website, and for having an interest in my art. I couldn’t do this without your support. Thank you!
Coming up Next...
In my next blog, I'll be starting my first "How-To" series, featuring Part 1: Composing + Drawing a Stylized Landscape Scene. I'll see you then!